Cocktail Fun!!
September 6, 2016 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Brennevin! The national booze of Iceland, I'm told.

Years ago, I saw it on some Travel or Food Channel show and thought "Hmmm, interesting.." and filed it away. A few months later, at a corner dive in Queens, I spied a bottle (don't ask me how it got there and the staff didn't seem to know either.) But I did a few shots with some friends. Because it's made of potatoes and caraway seeds, it tastes kind of like doing a shot of rye bread (which is not a bad thing)

Anyway, this weekend, I found some at a market and brought it home. Doing shots of it is fun, but I'm thinking that some cocktails could be interesting, but it's a tough pairing. My Icelandic advance man says he likes to eat carrots while drinking it, so maybe carrot juice? But I'm open to all kind of ideas. Let's have fun.
posted by jonmc to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is it 80 proof or higher?

Try a version of a Mule or Dark and stormy- ginger beer, lime, maybe a squirt of simple syrup. Shake it with a drop or two of stoli vanil for a chilled shot. If it tastes like rye bread, perhaps a martini with blue cheese stuffed olives couold be called a cheese sandvich martini. Pour a shot into a pint of oatmeal stout for a bready boilermaker.
posted by vrakatar at 6:26 PM on September 6, 2016

It's 80 proof. Interesting ideas. Keep 'em coming folks.
posted by jonmc at 6:30 PM on September 6, 2016

Got a blender? blend those carrots with whatever else goes in a smoothie, add your spirit, get drunk and eat healthy at the same time.

Grapefruit juice is so tart it can become a light drink with almost anything in it.
posted by vrakatar at 6:35 PM on September 6, 2016

vrakatar, this stuff is really strongly savory, so I'm thinking more stuff that would complement that.

Maybe mix it with sauerkraut juice and a boullion cube, for a Rueben (or Ruebenesque)?
posted by jonmc at 6:38 PM on September 6, 2016

What would go better with liquid bread than buttermilk?
posted by rocket88 at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2016

You could chase it with a shot of pickle juice, or mix them for a variant on a dirty martini.
posted by MsMolly at 9:08 PM on September 6, 2016

I also wonder how it would taste with beet juice.
posted by MsMolly at 9:09 PM on September 6, 2016

Bloody Mary!!!
posted by joan_holloway at 9:46 PM on September 6, 2016

It's often quite nice to chill brennivín (some people keep their bottles in the freezer or, during winter, outside) so adding some ice to the resulting cocktail could be very nice. Also thematically appropriate, I suppose.

I haven't tried it myself, but I've often thought that a dash of chili pepper might go well with a brennivín concoction. A cold bloody mary with brennivín and chili might be nice. And maybe one with carrot juice instead of tomato juice.

Either way, you're in largely unexplored territory as brennivín isn't much used for cocktails (beyond mixing it with coke).
posted by Kattullus at 12:13 AM on September 7, 2016

It's similar to akavit, yes? Googling turns up several akavit cocktail pages.
posted by brujita at 12:33 AM on September 7, 2016

I'm sure I read somewhere that they used to put it in weak beer, back when Iceland didn't allow strong beer. You could try that.
posted by biffa at 1:38 AM on September 7, 2016

I can help!

My wife and I bought a bottle during a visit to Iceland. We didn't touch it for a long time, but then saw a NYTimes report about how it's cool and trendy now.

So, we retrieved it from the freezer and ended up making the NYT-suggested X cocktail (recipe here). It's really tasty (we skipped the activated charcoal).

Sidenote: Cocktail nerds will notice that the X really just a Last Word with Brennivin tossed in.
posted by lukez at 6:11 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

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